SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s Hammond Ranches could be competing with several other applicants for access to federal grazing allotments that it lost in a court ruling last year.
The company submitted one of four applications to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to use the 41 square miles (106 square kilometers), where the Hammond family has traditionally grazed cattle near its home base in Diamond, Oregon, the Capital Press reported.
However, Hammond Ranches may still reactivate an administrative appeal against the BLM by May 12 that would suspend the competition for the grazing allotments, at least until the legal challenge is resolved.
Steven Hammond, the company’s co-owner, said he hasn’t yet decided whether to continue that administrative process.
The BLM said it’s not making information publicly available about who has applied for grazing access.
Steven Hammond and his father, Dwight, were convicted of arson and imprisoned for mandatory five-year terms but were released in 2018 after President Donald Trump pardoned them.
The grazing permit that had been taken away from the Hammonds after their arson convictions was restored by the BLM in early 2019, but that decision was challenged by environmentalists and overturned by a federal judge in December.
Last month, the agency announced it would accept applications for access to the grazing allotments because this would bring about the “most expeditious resolution” to the matter.
The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association would have preferred if nobody else competed for the allotments and Jerome Rosa, its executive director, said he was surprised that three other applications had been turned in.